It’s pretty much impossible to practice breath work too much because each inhale and each exhale offers a new lesson.
Feel the breath passing in and out of your body, whether it’s through your lips or nose.
Don’t try to change anything; instead, try to accept your breath as it is right now. Accept its curvatures, tight spots, and ragged edges.
Try to let the breath flow organically. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, maybe you’ve got some snot gumming up the works. Blow your nose and try again. If breathing through your nose is still difficult or uncomfortable, just go back to breathing through your mouth.
The breath will follow the cadence of your spirit. It’s a rhythm that’s unique to you. Let it flow naturally.
If it helps, close your eyes. But it’s not a requirement. Eyes open or closed, breathing is a requirement of life.
Sit, stand, practice handstands, whatever you like; every physical posture is an opportunity to connect with your breath.
Your mind isn’t supposed to be “clear.” If you’re alive, your mind will be active. Focusing on breathing doesn’t stop thoughts; instead, it allows you to find peace with even your most erratic, chaotic, and scary thoughts.
If you start to think, Well, this is pretty fucking boring—let your mind follow that path. See what happens when you make space for your boredom instead of using it as a reason to give up.
Intentional breath work techniques are a great way to hone control over the breath and provide a portal to deeper meditation. When it feels right, start integrating techniques like alternate nostril breathing (this is a good explainer on what it is and how to do it) and breath counting (which you can learn how to do here).
Practicing breath work allows you to spend time quietly concentrating only on the air entering and leaving your body. It’s a powerful way to remember that keeping yourself going can be as simple as inhaling and exhaling. In fact, for me, establishing a connection with my breath is the one sure thing that allows me to survive when the waves of life are crashing around me.
Spending time with my breath has helped me find a home within myself. Because I have that home, I know I can weather any storm.